Director: Yasujiro Ozu

112 minutes| Japan| 1962| Subtitled| Colour| Digital Video

This film screened 4th January 2010.

Ozu’s last film is a piercing meditation on a man’s twilight years. Chishu Ryu, the elderly father in Tokyo Story, is just as extraordinary here as a widower who’s grown too used to having his daughter (Shima Iwashita) do everything for him. However, even though his son’s main goal in life seems to be a swish new set of golf clubs, the old boy’s perception that the cultural transformation of post-war Japan has actually been good for the country sets him wondering whether it’s time to rethink his attitude to his own household. While the director’s usual repertory company is in good form, the wry humour is leavened by a telling sense of the years slipping by and mortality approaching. As such, it’s one of the cinema’s most sobering valedictory works, though it was never intended that way. A year after its release, Ozu died, unexpectedly, on his sixtieth birthday. Notes by Trevor Johnston.

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